When you're a wonderfully creative event planner in your own right, you know that planning your own wedding is probably the way to go-at least it was for Jeana Wright. Jeana is the owner of the event planning company, Splendid Wedding Co. On March 27, 2010, Jeana had the gorgeous wedding of her dreams with the love of her life, Steven Aaron, in the Vinton War Memorial in Vinton, Virginia. Their beautiful and joyous day was captured by the very creative Sam Dean Photography.
On the couple's First Encounter...
"We first met our junior year of high school (‘98). We had the same English class together. I thought he dressed nice and loved his smile. He said that he thought I was the cute cheerleader and the prettiest girl in the school." -Jeana
Their young love quickly progressed from just a crush to a full-blown romance. Jeana said..."Our relationship was so different from what I had ever experienced before. I didn't want to be apart from him. He would leave my house and call when he got home and we would stay on the phone for hours. I remember falling to sleep on the phone a few times because I just didn't want to hang up. According to some people we had a backwards relationship. We didn't get married right away. We had two beautiful girls and I knew from that point that we would always be together but never thought we would get married because we were so comfortable with the way things were."
Jeana might have thought things would remain the same but on July 16, 2008, Steven would shake things up by asking for her hand.
On the proposal...
"I came home from work as usual to find my boyfriend at home waiting outside which was out of the norm because he was usually at the gym. I got nervous because, not a few weeks before, his mother found out that she had breast cancer so I immediately thought he had more bad news. He sat me down on the bench and took my hand, his hands were very sweaty and he seemed so nervous. I asked what was going on; then he signaled our daughters to come over (they were three and six at the time). They drove over on their Barbie Jeep and handed their dad a blue box. He got down and proposed; the ring was gorgeous, a Platinum Tacori with hand engraved details (just what I wanted). I'm not your traditional bride so I always dropped hints that I didn't want a diamond; instead I wanted something different. My favorite stone is an aquamarine and that is what he had in my ring. It's so gorgeous and more than what I hoped for. I, of course, cried and knew that I couldn't wait for this man to be my husband."
How sweet! The best proposals are always those that catch a woman by accident and sweep her off her feet. Steven clearly succeeded :). Now, it was time for Jeana to plan the wedding of her dreams. Being an expert, she took the work in stride.
On the most important aspect of the wedding for the couple....
"I was all about the elegance and wanted everything to be classic and timeless. He was all about the party and food. I knew we would be paying for this ourselves so we were on a strict budget and knew that most of our money would go to food." -Jeana
For the theme and inspiration for the wedding and reception, Jeana was inspired by "classic elegance. Our colors were chocolate, chartreuse, champagne and khaki. My goal was to look back at our wedding 20 years from now and it not feel dated. As of now I think I achieved that." I think she did too!
On what the couple disagreed on most....
"I would have to say it was the number of guests. Steven wanted to invite more than what I wanted to and it caused many issues. I eventually decided that this would be our only time to party with friends and family so he invited who he wanted and I do not regret that decision. We had the time of our lives."
Jeana made the decision to be a Do-It-Yourself bride, an obviously not-so-easy feat.
On being a DIY bride...
"I have always been a very crafty and creative person. My family calls me Miss Martha because I am always watching Martha Stewart and reading her magazines. Art projects do not scare me and our budget was tight so I knew that I had a lot of DIY projects in my future. With me wanting to have everything elegant, I knew that having the best products to make our wedding items were a must. I'm very picky and I did not want the items to look tacky and home-made. That meant purchasing Swarovski crystals, star dream paper, dupioni silk, etc. By doing this on my own, although I used the best product, I saved us tons on money."
On the toughest thing about being a DIY bride....
"Time management was not my friend. Because we had such a long engagement, I did have time to start on projects and store them; but because I am such a perfectionist, when people offered to help, I declined because I wanted everything to look perfect. So I got behind on a few projects and was finishing up program booklets the week of our wedding which was not fun!"
For those thinking about going the DIY route, don't panic just yet. Jeana did enjoy some things about being a DIYer. She stated that she enjoyed "knowing that I could be such a part of my planning process and not have to depend on someone else to get items done for me."
On finding the vendors she did use....
"RESEARCH! Finding vendors in my area was not an easy task. I hit the yellow pages and called venues in my area to get vendor references. I also found who might be new in the industry because I knew I could get a good deal on someone trying to establish their new business."
Though Jeana truly enjoyed her ceremony, she did say that she would have done one thing differently...."I would hire a wedding planner and not try to do everything myself. I would hire at least a day-of coordinator. I felt so stressed the day of and felt like a planner could have taken over so I could enjoy the beginning of the day a little more."
Jeana's hilariously practical advice for engaged couples and brides-to-be?
"Do not be afraid to accept help from friends and family. Don't sweat the small stuff! Your day will not go as perfect as you may think, so be prepared to let the small stuff go. There is always a plan B for any situation.[And] EAT! Pack snacks and ask your MOH or a bridesmaid to literally make you eat or feed you while you get your make-up and hair done. There is no need to pass out on your wedding day."
Jeana and Steven, your wedding was truly beautiful but we pray that your marriage is even more so. May your romance be grand and opulent always!
BRIDAL GOWN: Amrhein's Bridal
SHOES : Jessica Bennett
FORMALWEAR: Men's Wearhouse
VENUE: Vinton War Memorial
EVENT DESIGNER/DECOR : Splendid Wedding Co.
WEDDING PLANNER : Splendid Wedding Co.
FLORIST : Twig & Berry: A Floral Affair
CAKE: Gail Wilson Cakes
FAVORS : Chocolate Paper
BRIDESMAIDS GOWNS : Amrhein's Bridal
HAIR/MAKEUP : Hair: Hair Attitudes: Brandon Hunt; Makeup: M.A.C (Macy's)
PHOTOGRAPHER : Sam Dean Photography
CATERER: Lib & Amy Catering
REGISTRIES: Amazon, Belk, Target
RENTALS : Aztec Rentals
ENTERTAINMENT: DJ Kevin Scott | Cellist: David Feldman | Violinist: Ingrid Pierce
PAPERS PRODUCT & DESIGN: Splendid Wedding Co.